Crucial Appeal the one to beat
CRUCIAL APPEAL shone at exercise two weeks ago and can defy topweight 57.0 kilos with Shane Ellis at his favourite trip, 1000 metres straight, in this afternoon's open allowance event. His six rivals include former sprint champion POKER STAR and speedy SIR BUDGET.
Given a month off by trainer Dwight Chen, CRUCIAL APPEAL sparkled in his first speed gallop after the break, clocking 59.0 flat for five furlongs straight, from the gate, the first half-mile in 45.4.
Last raced June 7, CRUCIAL APPEAL disappointed as a 4-5 favourite, finishing a well-beaten fourth behind TALENTED TONY K, POKER STAR and Saturday's winner, KING D.
However, the seven-year-old gelding was sparingly trained for that race, as opposed to his previous outing, May 10, for which he had prepped with a flat five-and-a-half furlong gallop in 1:06.4.
CRUCIAL APPEAL's prepa-ration for his last race manifested itself in his poor run, never in the reckoning behind TALENTED TONY K at 1000 metres straight, one of the rare occasions the gelding had not disputed the lead in his 34 starts.
However, he appeared back to himself at exercise with that sharp workout two weeks ago and is the class horse with best form to recommend.
SHADOW OF HIMSELF
POKER STAR has been nothing but disappointing in his four starts this season, a shadow of himself, especially his last race - fourth behind CHACE THE GREAT, LOTTERY TICKET and PROLIFIC PRINCESS, plus he has 55.5 kilos.
SIR BUDGET has the best draw, widest at post seven, with 50.0 kilos. However, CRUCIAL APPEAL had outclassed him at similar handicaps the last time they met at the distance, plus he was reporting off a three-month layup.
United States-bred CHOO CHOO BLUE reports pretty light in hunt of a third straight win with apprentice Javaniel Patterson, taking her burden down to 49.0 kilos. However, the four-year-old American filly is better on the bends.
CRUCIAL APPEAL is not the best drawn at post-position one, but it's a small field and the gate will be taken off the rail, giving the speedster what amounts to approximately post four.
He has the fastest time at the distance, a quick 56.4 when winning off a three-month layup on March 4, beating GARY GLITTER and SIR BUDGET.